Airlie Beach, Queensland

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Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach is located in Queensland
Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach
Coordinates20°16′28″S 148°42′54″E / 20.2744°S 148.715°E / -20.2744; 148.715Coordinates: 20°16′28″S 148°42′54″E / 20.2744°S 148.715°E / -20.2744; 148.715
Population1,208 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density345/km2 (894/sq mi)
Area3.5 km2 (1.4 sq mi)
LGA(s)Whitsunday Region
State electorate(s)Whitsunday
Federal Division(s)Dawson
Localities around Airlie Beach:
Whitsundays Whitsundays Whitsundays
Cannonvale Airlie Beach Mandalay
Cannonvale Cape Conway Jubilee Pocket

Airlie Beach is a coastal locality in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Australia.[2] In the 2016 census, Airlie Beach had a population of 1,208 people.[1]


Airlie Beach is one of many departure points for the Great Barrier Reef. Near latitude 20 degrees south, Airlie Beach, Proserpine and the nearby Whitsunday Islands enjoy a tropical climate and lifestyle.[3]

Each year the residents of Airlie Beach celebrate The Blessing of the Fleet on Whit Sunday or Pentecost Sunday.[4]


A very popular tourism hotspot for both Australians and international visitors. Tourists are extremely well catered to with a plethora of eateries, live music, tours and activities. Accommodation ranges from caravan parks through to 5-star resorts. The area has several airports and is a popular spot for those in RV/van style transport making their way up the Queensland coast.

One of the highlights of the year is the Airlie Beach Festival Of Music that is held each year in November with over 70 artists and bands performing over 3 days in 15 great venues.[5] One of the highlights of this event apart from internationally known artists and popular Australian artists is the final of the Passport to Airlie that sees 15 of Australia's up and coming acts compete for prizes to help their careers along.

Its beach is small but mostly empty due to the abundance of box jellyfishes (Chironex fleckeri) and Irukandji in the sea, particularly from November to May. Deadly stingers inhabit the waters almost year round especially as oceans have warmed, tourists and locals have been stung and deaths have occurred in past years. In order to provide somewhere for the visitors tourists to swim, the local council, has built a small – medium-sized swimming lagoon on the foreshore, similar to the lagoon found in Cairns. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is 4,300 m2 and 4.5 million litres of self chlorinated water.[6]

The Great Barrier Reef is somewhat accessible from Airlie Beach, with an array of different types of tours available. Majority of these tours depart from Abell Point Marina but a few depart from the recently completed Port of Airlie. The Abell Point Marina contains 507 berths.[7]


The name derived from the former town of Airlie and unbounded locality of Airlie Beach. Airlie was named following a request by the Lands Department in December 1935 for the Proserpine Shire Council to provide a name for a new sub-division on the coast.[2] It is almost certain that the town was named for the parish of Airlie, in Scotland, as the name was suggested by the chairman of the former Proserpine Shire Council, Robert Shepherd, who was born in nearby Montrose, Scotland. The official name was Airlie from 1936 until 1987, when it became Airlie Beach.[2]

Airlie Beach Post Office opened on 2 November 1959.[8]


At the 2016 census, the suburb of Airlie Beach itself had a population of 1,208 excluding Cannonvale. 50.9% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was England at 9.2%. 71.2% of people only spoke English at home. The most common response for religion was No Religion at 34.7% of the population.[1]


Busking was made legal in June 2010 through an Adopted Draft Policy created by Whitsunday Regional Council.[9][10][11][12]


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Airlie Beach (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c "Airlie Beach (entry 46849)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Airlie Beach, Australia, climate, Information, rainfall, Map". Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Blessing of the Fleet". Whitsunday Sailing Club. Archived from the original on 10 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Airlie Beach Festival of Music". Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Airlie Beach Lagoon". Whitsunday Regional Council. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Billionaire buys Abel Point Marina". Whitsunday Times. Central Queensland News Publishing Company. 14 December 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  8. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  9. ^ "He's breaking the law by busking". 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  10. ^ Ben Glover (25 February 2010). "The busking blues". Whitsunday Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  11. ^ James Tolmie (22 July 2010). "Busker happy with decision". Whitsunday Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  12. ^ James Tolmie (2 September 2010). "Busker still not happy with rules". Whitsunday Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013.

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